LA-Area Public Installation Honors Persian Leader Cyrus the Great

A respected presence in the Los Angeles business community, Michael Saei leads First Financial Capital and guides a company that offers business owners with bridge financing. Michael Saei supports the Farhang Foundation in its efforts to foster and promote Persian culture through educational programs at the University of Southern California.

The foundation also sponsored the international urban art competition Freedom: A Shared Dream in 2015. Attracting more than 300 submissions, the competition sought out a sculpture that would represent the ideals of Cyrus the Great. As ruler of the Persian Empire in the 6th century BC, he set forth enduring principles of freedom for all inhabitants and tolerance of the principles of religious diversity.

Among the distinguished jurors was the founder and architect of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and an executive member of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The winner of the competition for a permanent urban artwork commission of up to $300,000 was Cecil Balmond, who achieved recognition for his creation of the 376-foot-tall ArcelorMittal Orbit public installation and observation tower for the 2012 London Olympics. His largescale interpretation of the ancient Persian ruler will be installed in Century City on Santa Monica Boulevard.

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